Europe Stocks Close Mixed After US Jobs Data

European shares closed mixed on Thursday after better-than-expected jobs data from the U.S.

Key European indexes pointing in opposite directions at the close, as investors paused for breath after the recent "risk-on" rally. The FTSE 100 closed unofficially up 0.2 percent, the Cac 40 closed down 0.6 percent and the Dax closed up 0.2 percent. Thursday was a quiet day for trading in several northern European countries, which were shut for a public holiday.

Stocks got a slight boost in the afternoon after government data showed U.S. weekly jobless claims fell to their lowest level since 2008. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a rise in applications.


In the U.K., the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announced it was keeping interest rates unchanged at the historic low of 0.5 percent, and will not add to its current quantitative easing program. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index staged a small rally before the announcement, but quickly fell back afterwards.

Meanwhile, Italy's benchmark bourse lagged European peers, after Banco Popolare di Milano slumped 8.9 percent on concerns that plans to convert the cooperative bank to a joint-stock company could be delayed or cancelled.